The lessons we learn during childhood shape us into who we become. They remain at the very core of our being, becoming the ‘window’ through which we view the world. However, the importance and significance of these lessons we realise much later in life.
Back in the day, we detested all those restrictions and rules laid out by our parents. A trip down memory lane can attest to how much we despised homework, following a strict routine, or sharing toys with others. The list is endless. With time, however, as we stepped into adulthood, we feel nothing but grateful for the childhood days that taught us so many valuable lessons.
After all, without them, I wouldn’t have reached where I am today.
Today, as I revisit my childhood, there are innumerable things that I am grateful for. The set boundaries that I wasn’t allowed to cross, the curfew-like timings that I had to adhere to, and the steady sincerity that I was expected to show towards my academics—these made me feel no less than living inside a prison, especially when others were allowed to roam scot-free. But now, as I reflect on my value system and all other things that make me who I am today, I feel nothing but gratitude for those lessons that I was fortunate enough to learn early in life.
In retrospect, here are six things I hated while growing up but I’m grateful for today.
Without rules, life would disintegrate into chaos. My ten-year-old self would’ve begged to disagree because children love to do what they want. But with time, we understand the reasons behind the rules, and why we should follow them.
I was raised by fairly permissible parents, who, from a young age let me voice my opinions, and in certain cases, even allowed me to make my own decisions. While there were consequences to my actions, however unfair they seemed at the time, they moulded me into a responsible human being.
We learn most of our fundamental lessons while we’re still young. Our parents, teachers, and elders instil in us values that help us move forward and succeed in life. One such lesson is to develop a sense of responsibility.
As a child, it would take a great deal of courage and maturity for me to take charge of my actions and take responsibility for the consequences, something that I learned the hard way. As a child, I would tend to shirk responsibility and pin the blame for my misfortunes on others. Even without being aware, I would end up playing the victim card, just to get an easy pass.
Let’s face it. Taking responsibility or being accountable isn’t easy, especially for children. It takes time and patience, something which children don’t have. Hence, their objection. But as adults, when we look back, we only feel gratitude for the lesson in disguise.
When I was young, my parents would play a game with me. Whenever I demanded to eat a chocolate or dessert, I would be given two options. The first would be to get one right away, while the other would be to wait, finish my assignments, and then get two instead of one. As a child, even though waiting would feel like forever, the prospect of more definitely seemed tempting. Little did I know that this game was in fact a lesson in self-control. Without caring much about its significance, being asked to control my impulses, or practise patience, would often erupt in outbursts and tantrums. But looking back, I now realise self-control has in fact made me a better decision-maker.